7 Common Mistakes Restaurant Servers Make (And How to Avoid Them)


The success of every business revolves around its customers, and if you are in the hospitality industry, you know the importance of customer experience.

Good service can lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased return clients.

The quality of service waiters and waitresses provided has a big impact on your customers. If your restaurant servers make mistakes constantly or are rude, it can affect customers’ dining experience.

This article will highlight the top 7 mistakes that servers make and offer some advice on avoiding them.

1) Poor Communication

Restaurant servers must ensure that they communicate clearly with the customer while taking orders so that the customer understands them.

They should avoid speaking loudly, talking too quickly, or mumbling.

Also, servers should avoid using slang words and instead speak formally with high mannerisms.

2) Poor Greetings

First impressions matter! Server interaction and the impression they leave on the customer will determine if they will return to your restaurant.

The first mistake servers make within a few seconds of a customer’s arrival is poor greeting.

Your restaurant servers need to learn to welcome and greet customers appropriately. They should also make eye contact, smile, and greet customers when welcoming them.

3) Not Knowing the Menu and How to Up-sell

Customers may ask the servers to advise them on the menus best meal. If the server doesn’t know what’s on the menu, they can give misleading information.

Waiters and waitresses can recommend the most popular meal on the menu. After all, it is a good opportunity to up-sell the high-profit margin meals on the menu.

Failure to know how to up-sell can also destroy the customer experience. Servers should make all suggestions politely and in a way that doesn’t appear as pushy.

Related: How Restaurant Upselling Can Increase Turnover

4) Failure to ask Customers if they are First Time Visitors

Your restaurant staff should learn the right restaurant questions to ask the customers.

The best restaurant questions should focus on guests’ tastes.

For instance, before dining, a server can ask, “Are you a first-time visitor” or “Have you dined with us before”? If it is their first time in the restaurant, a server should provide some background information on your restaurant and suggest popular meals.

It’s important to note that a good server knows the right questions to ask and how to answer them appropriately.

5) Inappropriate Way of Handling Glasses

Customers hate to see a server touching the upper half of their glass. Servers should only handle the bottom half of your customer’s glass or cup.

Remember, the upper part of the glass is where the customer will put their mouth, and it can make them cringe seeing someone else touching it.

Many servers aren’t aware of this common but avoidable mistake that can be a big turn-off to a customer.

Restaurant managers should teach servers the right way to handle glasses as they serve drinks to the guests.

6) Over Familiarity

While servers should be welcoming and friendly, they shouldn’t be overly friendly. Sitting at the customer’s table or touching them can be disrespectful.

Also, using names like “buddy”, “pal” and “dude” can be disrespectful. Your restaurant servers should refrain from saying “honey”, “sweetie” or “darling” unless if they are talking to their better half.

Instead, they should stick to formal terms like ma’am or sir.

7) Paying more Attention to Certain Customers

Many diners often complain of slow service, mostly because servers give more attention to certain guests. Servers should not make customers sitting nearby think they are given less attention than your restaurant’s regular diners.

Some servers treat customers depending on their outward appearance and ignore those they feel are visually different.

Make sure that your staff knows how to communicate well with each customer and embrace even those outside of their comfort zone.

Making servers pay for their mistake is not the right solution. After all, it will not undo the damaged customer experience.

However, you should ensure your staff has the right training.

You can also incorporate Ideal Software solutions that promote efficient services.

Don’t delay, contact us now for info on our innovative app KOUNTER and cut back on stock losses!




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